The imperial roots of climate science

July 20, 2018

Climate in Motion: Science, Empire, and the Problem of Scale Deborah R. Coen University of Chicago Press (2018)

A world power ruled by the eccentric Habsburg monarchy, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was a force to reckon with for the frenetic 50 years preceding 1918. In the comprehensive, deeply researched Climate in Motion, historian of science Deborah Coen explores a lesser-known side of this unwieldy empire: its role as a crucible of modern climatology. Imperial scientists were a starry league, from meteorologist Julius Hann, who explored the relationships between prevailing wind, rainfall and mean temperatures, to geographer Alexander Supan, who established the global classification system for climate zones.

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